KARACHI: This year, International Women’s Day falls at a time when exceptional global movements for women and their rights, equality and justice are at their peak.
Women from all around the world have come together to form and stand with international campaigns including #MeToo and #TimesUp in the United States and #MeinBhi in Pakistan, on issues ranging from sexual harassment to equal pay.
Also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, International Women’s Day celebrates the accomplishments of women throughout history and across nations. It is annually held on March 8.
The theme this year is ‘Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.’ Reflecting on this, Women’s Day will try to bring attention to the rights of rural women, who make up over a quarter of the world’s population but are still left behind.
Today will also witness the Aurat March – a rally from Frere Hall to Quaid-e-Azam Museum, Karachi, to transform the motion into action, to empower women in all settings – rural and urban, and to rejoice activists.
It was announced by social activist Sheema Kermani. Addressing this at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) on March 5, where she stated, “The Aurat March was introduced when women from diverse affiliations, backgrounds, and professions issued a call for collective action. We aim to unite women for the cause of gender justice and social change, and will commemorate International Women’s Day with a rally.”
She also stated that as it aims to serve and unite the general women within our society, a programme will be held at Frere Hall. “The Aurat March’s manifesto is to demand an end to violence against women, workers’ rights, reproductive justice and environmental impartiality,” Kermani added.
People from across the globe stand together to support women and create awareness on the issues that exist. Compiled from UN Women, here are four quotes from some of the most prominent UN Goodwill Ambassadors.
“How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feels welcome to participate in the conversation?”
On September 20, 2014 Emma gave a speech at the UN Headquarters, New York in light of the UN launch of the HeForShe campaign, which aims to engage men to stop violence against women.
“Let us lead by example in creating a world in which women and men are not economically punished for wanting to be parents.”
At the UN official commemoration of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2017 held in New York, Anne advocated for paid parental leave.
“Bringing out a culture of respect for women requires redefining the concept of masculinity.”
On behalf of the ‘Men Against Rape and Discrimination,’ movement or ‘MARD,’ a social campaign he launched five years ago in India, Farhan delivered a speech on redefining masculinity at a UN meetup.
“Imagine a bold plan for a world without discrimination, in which women and men are equal partners in shaping their societies and lives.”
On May 19, 2014 at the launch of ‘Beijing+20 campaign: Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity – Picture it!’, Nicole spoke on a journey towards women’s empowerment.
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